National Archives and Records Administration
Producer National Archives and Records AdministrationLanguage English
ARC Identifier 2569718 / Local Identifier 111-TV-461
Big Picture: Operation Danville
DVD Copied by Timothy Vollmer. "Operation Danville" on the screen becomes a timely journalistic study of what can happen to an American community overrun by enemy forces and later liberated by friendly troops of the 82nd Airborne Division who parachuted into the area, engaged the enemy, and won after a pitched battle. This military operation was the climax of a large-scale field problem known as Exercise Dragon Head in which more than 11,000 Strategic Army Corps soldiers tested their brains and their fighting skills against an aggressor force. In its boldness and interest, "Operation Danville" depicts the tremendous cooperation offered by a community in Virginia to the United States Army at a time when the possibility of limited warfare is a continual threat to the uneasy peace under which we live. The narration covering the early footage of the picture displays admirable objectivity and refers to "the look of Danville, Virginia, as the look of America. It is a look toward enduring prosperity and continuing peace. When Army officials asked Danville to become a part of Exercise Dragon Head, it was not surprising that the city enthusiastically agreed. The exercise would offer everyone a chance to see our modern Army in action and contribute directly to the training of STRAC soldiers." In sum, "Operation Danville" will leave an impression on the TV viewer that it doesn't seem like Danville, but instead, another place in another part of the world. It could be tomorrow, or the day after, but proves that the Army can handle limited war anyplace, anytime.